Band Sampler: Counted Cross Stitch

Mal | Band Sampler,Current Events,Media,Sewing,Stitching | Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Band Sampler: Cross Stitch

I mentioned before that I burned out on counted cross stitch when I was a teenager. However, at the beginning of my band sampler I wanted to document all of the stitches I already know. Naturally, this includes cross stitch.

Cross Stitch Obama, close up

My aversion to it was so strong, however, that I had decided to count my name at the top of the sampler as my homage to counted cross stitch. That is until I found out that Julie from Subversive Cross Stitch was offering a pattern of Shepard Fairy‘s iconic Obama poster for free.

Cross Stitch Obama, note

Because I’d like the band sampler to also function as a kind of visual journal, and because I was so moved and elated during the time of the election, I knew it would be a great inclusion. So, here is the counted cross stitch portion of my band sampler.


If you’d like to try your hand at cross stitch, here are some tutorials and links:

I sped through this project, and there are lots of errors and missteps. But, it’s done and I can walk away from cross stitch again, for now.

How about you? Do you have any media or projects that you dislike? Have you ever moved past dislike back to enjoyment?


  1. Well done. Looks pretty good from here! I have a question though: Is that a long scroll of fabric you are working on? I hadn’t heard of a band sampler until I found this blog (so this may be a naive question…)

    I also burnt out on cross stitch early on in my crafty life. I credit it for reminding me how much I enjoyed creating stuff, but I’ve never been able to pick it up again and actually finish a project. As I think about it, it’s probably because I was using kits and they are a little too paint-by-numbers and not enough let’s-just-see-what-happens for my liking. The irony being that I sometimes feel frozen by let’s-just-see-what-happens too. Sigh ;-) At least that doesn’t bore me though!

    Looking forward to the band sampler next installment :-)

    Comment by Emma — 4 March 2009 @ 10:12 am

  2. Your band sampler is very cool and intriguing! I feel like Emma took up all of my comments — what will the final band sampler look like? Will it be used in something else or maybe hung as-is? I haven’t done cross stitch in years but would like to get back to it. So many projects though — and don’t know if my poor old eyes would handle it well. And thanks so much for the brie and apple answers!

    Comment by Thimbleanna — 4 March 2009 @ 10:17 am

  3. @Emma: Yes! It’s a 6″-wide strip of linen and will be affixed to other 6″-wide strips as I go along. I wrote more about band samplers in my next entry, but basically it’s a way to practice and learn embroidery stitches. Old-timers used to make them and then roll them up to be kept in their sewing box for reference.

    I HEAR YOU on the cross-stitch thing. I feel the same way about knitting and crochet. I find crochet to be very conducive to free-form and improvisational work, whereas I never feel I can knit without a rigid pattern. This is probably due to my own lack of knitting expertise, but still. In essence, I realize that counted cross stitching is really just working with pixels, and they don’t interest me all that much.

    Comment by Mal — 4 March 2009 @ 4:58 pm

  4. @Anna: Thanks for the compliment, Anna! The final sampler will be a long strip, 6″ wide and probably bound on the edges with ribbon or binding tape. It’ll be rolled up and stored somehow, rather than displayed. If I continue with this project for a long time, I might divide the scrolls up by year or something (since they also serve as a type of visual journal).

    Cross stitch doesn’t interest me all that much. It’s essentially just working with pixels, and to my mind that’s what technology is for. Still, I was glad to get that handsome Obama on my sampler!

    Comment by Mal — 4 March 2009 @ 5:00 pm

  5. I love this embroidery piece. Just love it. I also love that so many of my artistic friends like Obama too. Such a breath of fresh air(even after all these weeks). Great job on the sampler. Great job of crossstitching Obama!

    Comment by debraann — 23 March 2009 @ 4:51 pm

  6. @debraann: There are so many crafts for Obama out there, aren’t there? So awesome!

    Comment by Mal — 26 March 2009 @ 3:42 pm

  7. I love the Obama cross stitch sampler, well done.

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